Development of Visually Guided Locomotion

Karen E. Adolph, Marion A. Eppler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a developmental account of changes in the visual guidance of locomotion. In contrast to the impressive efficiency of adult locomotion, locomotor activity is not under prospective control at the onset of human mobility. Infants require extensive crawling and walking experience before responding adaptively to variations in the terrain. At the same time that they are learning to navigate in increasingly varied environments, their bodies and skills are rapidly changing. Learning generalizes from safe, flat ground to novel surfaces but it does not transfer to new methods of locomotion. We account for these patterns of generality and specificity of learning by focusing on the role of exploratory behavior in detecting threats to balance control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-321
Number of pages19
JournalEcological Psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Computer Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Social Psychology


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